Date: June 30, 2014
For more information contact: J.P. Wieske, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or email@example.com
Commissioner Ted Nickel Statement on Storm Damage,
Flooding in Western Wisconsin
Madison, WIWisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel expressed concern for the citizens of Western Wisconsin facing property damage and floods after storms Saturday and continuing through tonight.
"The immediate aftermath of the storm will be stressful for those whose homes or businesses have been damaged by the storm," stated Commissioner Nickel. "With more storms and additional rain in the forecast, the most important thing is to stay safe," continued Commissioner Nickel.
He suggested the following tips in dealing with the aftermath of the storm:
- Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim. Make sure you provide a telephone and/or e-mail address where you can be reached. Your insurance company may also have representatives on the scene immediately following a major disaster to speed up the handling of claims.
- Pay attention to local news to find out if state and federal agencies are available on-scene to help with relief efforts.
- Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost personal property. It will help to take photos of the damage. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items. Do not throw out any damaged property without your adjuster's agreement. If local officials require the disposal of damaged items before the insurance company's claims adjuster can inspect the damages, take photos and keep a swatch or other sample of damaged items for the adjuster (e.g., cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs). For more information on completing a home inventory please visit oci.wi.gov/pressrel/0612homeinv.htm.
- To avoid scams, make sure to take your time. If you feel pressured to sign a contract quickly, take a step back and investigate.
- Separate damaged items from undamaged items.
- Contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.
"It's important to take photos after any severe weather event where you have damage to your property," noted Nickel. "Take photos of the damage and do not move or pick up anything until the insurance company claims adjusters are able to see the damage. We also want to let people know that we're here to help."
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Web site has numerous helpful publications including the "Consumers Guide To Homeowner's Insurance" (oci.wi.gov/pub_list/pi-015.htm) and "Personal Property Home Inventory" (oci.wi.gov/pub_list/pi-224.pdf) which is a worksheet for consumers to list their personal property. There are also specific insurance publications for small business owners, mobile home insurance, condominium insurance and information on how to settle property insurance claims. All of these publications can be found on the OCI Web site at oci.wi.gov/pub_list.htm.
You can contact OCI with questions at 1-800-236-8517 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to file a complaint, you can file a complaint online via OCI's Web site (oci.wi.gov). Additionally, you can obtain a complaint form by calling 1-800-236-8517, or by printing a form from OCI's Web site. All complaints must be in writing. You can mail completed complaint forms and copies of any supporting material to:
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
P. O. Box 7873
Madison, WI 53707-7873
Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.